Why Do Cats Carry Your Clothes Around? Kitty Clothing Thieves, Explained

My cat keeps carrying my clothes around my home, and there seems to be no rhyme or reason to it.  I wake up and find clothes scattered in the oddest places, including the cat water bowl! Why do cats do this?

While it is incredibly cute to see them carrying clothes around in their mouth, it can also pose certain safety risks.  I’ll explain why your cat does this, and will also tell you why your cat carrying clothes can be dangerous – and what you should do about it.

why do cats carry around clothes and laundry

Why Does My Cat Carry Clothes Around the House?

In a nutshell, cats are weird little creatures.  They do the silliest things for seemingly no reason, though most of their antics do have a motive – even if it doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.  Such as scattering your socks all over the place, leaving you with a nice mess to clean when you wake up in the morning.  If you’ve ever wondered why you can’t find the matching sock in a pair, now you do!

There are many reasons that a cat might carry belongings around, and female cats seem to do this the most – so it might be related to nesting behavior, whether your cat is spayed or not. Your cat might simply like the feeling of carrying something around, or it may be sensory related.  As in, your cat might like the feeling of certain textures in her mouth.

It could also just be a form of play, and something your cat is doing to simply pass the time.  Although you can try giving your cat more toys, in my own personal experience, they still prefer to drag clothes around if they can find them – even if they have plenty of toys at their disposal!

Is it Safe for Your Cat to Carry Clothes Around?

Although your cat clearly enjoys dragging clothes around, it isn’t exactly the safest pastime.  If your cat likes playing with clothes, they most likely also like all of the little strings and buttons that are often also attached – and strings aren’t always a good thing to have around cats. 

First and foremost, the best thing you can do to ensure your cat’s safety is to limit the clothing they’re able to access.  Keep your laundry safely put away, your dryer door shut (that’s another story all in itself), and your closet doors closed.  Things like this can become a kitty addiction, so you need to cut off their supply!

But, not all is lost.  You can still leave safer clothing items like towels nearby if you want your cat to have at least a little fun.  Part of the reason they may carry those items around is simply because it has your scent, and they want to be near you. Gosh knows we wouldn’t want to take that way.

Does your own cat enjoy carrying things around?  Tell us about it in the comments below!


  1. Ok so my cat Muffy likes to carry off ALL KINDS of clothes and just leaves them in a pile in the kitchen. She meows loudly as she stands over them while dragging them away to her clothing pile. Im not sure if its because shes lost multiple litters, or something related to or completely different. I hope its not too serious….

    • My cat carries my granddaughters clothes all around the house every day and meows very loudly. Drives me crazy but is is funny. I didnt realize a lot of cats do this. She is a rescue cat and we’ve had her for about 5 or 6 years now. She started this a few years ago.

  2. I’m trying to wrap my brain around this one but it’s not working. I adopted Bella at about 6 weeks old; she is also spayed and is now nearing 1 1/2 yrs. Old. At first she just learned how to open my drawers and would pull my clothes out. About a month ago she started dragging my sweaters up or down the stairs. If she gets them upstairs she will then put them under the bed. I have tried to video this antic of hers but she caught me. I have a hard time believing that she has the strength to drag my heavy sweaters but she does it. I just wish that someone could tell me why. It is like laughing at a child for doing something but not wanting them to see you laughing.

  3. My kitty Tesla is barely a 20 months old and she drags towels, socks, My wife’s bras, and my tee shirts…I’m guessing it’s nesting but we had a 10 yo who passed 5 months back who dragged my bowling bag among other strange items!


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